Guidelines For Selecting The Right Autopilot For Your Boat


The self-steeping devices for sailboats are quite important while sailing. Their main aim is to hold the boat on pre set compass mode. The GPS receivers are attached to them could handle various advanced tasks easily. Unlike human pilots, this machinery never gets tired. If you are looking for simrad autopilot, here are some things to consider.

Undoubtedly, they come with an infinite attention span, which keeps the vessel going. If you are lack of time, crewmembers or any other problem, the autopilot could use the boat efficiently. Moreover, they are known to consume less fuel than their counterparts and reach destination quite fast.


  • The heading sensor
  • A course computer or the central processing unit
  • drive unit

The heading sensor works much like the fluxgate compass. The course computer or central processing unit on the other hand acts like the brain of machine. Drive unit is like a hydraulic pump that is used to apply force to boat’s drive. Much advanced and complicated pilots have many other high tech functions and sensors like rudder reference, data sources, and rate gyro to keep track of things, speedometer, and GPS reviewer and so on.


It is quite simple to operate the device. The users have to fix this vessel and heading and hold it for several seconds. Then, they have to press AUTO function and slowly release helm. The machine will respond at times in order to keep the boat on course. Modern days autopilots are better an innovative that earlier versions. They include great software algorithms, which easily track off course deviations.

You have to remember that autopilots face difficulty to work as seas gets stronger. If you do not buy the right machine with warranty and guarantee, it might burst at the time you need it most. Here are some tips to reduce and avoid autopilot failure. If you have to travel longer distance, avoid buying the small size cockpit mounted autopilots. They will not offer excellent results for years to come. Make sure that you never take small machinery for long distances unless-

  • You have kept a backup machine just in case your first one fails or damaged
  • You could handle the steering for about 2- 3 hours without getting tired
  • The vessel has efficient wind vane steering system
  • You do not completely depend on the autopilot

These autopilots are controlled by a dedicated controller, multifunctional display or the remote control. These controls are further attached to a computer fitted below the deck. It will take the input by controller and process it to move the boat or rudder in the right manner. Different types of systems are required for various boats. Quite heavier steering systems are installed in boats running over 40ft. On the other hand, light systems are best for boats under 40ft.

While buying the machine, make sure that you go through manufacturer’s recommendations. They will help you to shortlist few popular brands and models.

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